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Receiver Kevin Teglia says Lake Park's passing game has yet to find rhythm, but the senior has 9 touchdown receptions in three games.
Three of them helped the Lancers beat Metea Valley 35-23 Friday in an Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division game in Roselle.
Lake Park (2-1, 1-0) got first-half rushing touchdowns by Curtwan Evans and Zach Thomson and 2 interceptions by linebacker Niko Daniello. That stymied the Mustangs until Lake Park quarterback Zach Gehant hit Teglia twice for a 33-9 lead early in the fourth quarter.
"That's what I think opened up the pass game for us later on in the game. The linemen (Zach Smith, Ian Smith, Justin DiCiolla, Dan Borre, Vince Fallico) are great. A lot of seniors, a lot of experience," said Teglia, whose fourth-quarter 95-yard catch and run is Lake Park's longest in history, by 1 yard over his Week 1 touchdown jaunt.
Scott Filip keyed two scores, returning the opening kick 40 yards to preface a 13-yard Teglia touchdown catch. Filip ran a sweep 73 yards, followed by Zach Thomson's 9-yard touchdown run for a 14-3 Lancers lead early in the second quarter.
Metea Valley (1-2, 0-1) pulled within 14-9 on Cameron Wilcox's 2-yard touchdown run and quickly got the ball back. Only Daniello, making his first prep interceptions, picked off his second pass deep in Mustangs territory. Right tackle Fallico caved in the line for an Evans 4-yard score, among his 104 yards rushing.
"We're pretty set on being the more physical team right now," said Lake Park coach Chris Roll.
"They're probably better up there (on the line) than we gave them credit for coming in, so that was definitely the game plan for them early," said Metea coach Ben Kleinhans. "But when it came down to it, they went to their guy, the receiver, No. 2."
Teglia and Gehant had the rhythm on a 9-yard touchdown play. Later, penalties backed Lake Park to its own 5-yard line. Teglia sped down the right sideline, Gehant hit him at the 40 and Teglia went the record-setting distance.
"Things are starting to come together for us," he said.
Wilcox, who finished with 158 yards on 29 carries, applied some pressure with touchdown runs of 7 and 5 yards. Alex Hagemaster caught 6 passes from Blaise Bell for 143 yards.
"We have to learn from it and keep going, keep pushing through and grow together as a team and really work harder and harder each week as it goes on," said Mustangs linebacker Jake Murawski.